The Entrepreneur Code
“If Jeff Bezos wants to be a good person, he’d turn Amazon into a worker cooperative.” Those shamefully naive words came from an American Congresswoman. With a double major in international relations and economics, she may think she knows what she is talking about, but working as a waitress does not give her the real-life background of what it takes to start and run a successful business. Success in business takes some book smarts, but the School of Hard Knocks typically beats you to a pulp when you try to run your business out of a college textbook.
Let me be clear, I both admire and loath Jeff Bezos for the juggernaut that he created at Amazon. However, whether you love or hate Amazon, it’s absurd for the simple Congresswoman to classify a person as a good or bad person because he chooses to run his business based on capitalism instead of communism. The lack of capitalism, along with its imperfections and hope for personal gain and profits, is a major reason the Soviet Union no longer exists, North Korea is in shambles while South Korea prospers, and Cuba still drives cars from the 1950s.
Profit, the hope of wealth, and freedom are what inspire entrepreneurs to risk, sacrifice, and innovate. Freedom to make your financial path is what gets someone like me out of bed early, go to bed late, work countless weekends, and even miss out on some family events.
So, my dear clueless Congresswoman, please do not classify Mr. Bezos or the rest of us entrepreneurs as bad for employing millions of people, taking enormous risks, and then deciding how we spend our hard-fought gains.
The life of an entrepreneur has pushed me to the brink of bankruptcy multiple times and caused countless sleepless nights. (I’d like to think it is what is causing my receding hairline, but DNA is the most likely culprit for my hair challenges.) The entrepreneur’s life is also enormously gratifying and has allowed me to travel the world, work on my terms, and create an enviable lifestyle.
If I could go back in time and talk to my younger self, I would want to share what I now call The Entrepreneur Code that would have saved me time, money, and a lot of sanity. Nothing will prevent any of us from failures and setbacks, but there is no question that many of our failures can be lessened by having the right plan with the right answers from the start.
The Entrepreneur Code is a collection of my ideas gathered from the School of Hard Knocks and continual reading and researching of great minds in business, philosophy, and history. As you will read, much of the Code comes from sources outside of traditional business advice.
Summarized, the Code is as much about having a well-rounded life as it is about making a bunch of money. As a fitness and health fanatic with a family history of heart disease, degenerative disorders of the central nervous system, and cancer, my goal is not to live forever, but to be healthy as long as I live. Having a full bank account, but an empty life is meaningless to me.
I frankly want it all. Good health, a strong faith, long-term relationships, lots of money, time to recreate, and happiness are my goals. For those of you who want it all too, I am a strong advocate of entrepreneurialism as the foundation for a great life and I want to help you have it all.
I like money and want more of it. For the entrepreneur, it is akin to oxygen. The lack of money will suffocate creativity, hurt relationships, and eventually kill dreams. Just keep in mind, if you truly want it all and to have a well-rounded and meaningful life, the accumulation of money should never be your most important goal.
Just as a very sick person is not able to enjoy wealth, a financially rich person that is poor in relationships is doomed to have a miserable and unfulfilling life.
That said, let’s get started with The Entrepreneur Code.
Code 1: Don’t miss obvious investment opportunities.
The biggest problem most entrepreneurs face is a serious lack of money. In 1993, I was a sophomore in college. Apple’s average stock cost in 1993 was $0.3663. That is dirt cheap. Even as a broke college student I could have scooped up a bunch of that and been a multi-millionaire today. I could have funded countless ventures if I would have purchased $20 a week in Apple stock. Even a broke college student can scrape together 20 bucks.
I realize that hindsight is 20/20, but I have posted in the past that I lost almost $500,000 because I panic sold my Apple stock in 2011. Even though Apple was not an obvious buy in 1993, it was in 2011.
I can fret about missing out on Apple in 1993 and 2011, however, I can also say that Amazon (up 17,626%) and Netflix (up 19,963%) were big misses as well. I was irresponsible for not investing in innovative and good companies.
Instead of beating myself up for not having millions in Apple, Amazon, and Netflix stock, I can do something about it now.
My bet for the future is in cryptocurrency.
If you are a crypto and Bitcoin hater, you may want to go back to kicking yourself about missing out on Apple. Last year, I was a crypto critic. I was wrong.
Cryptocurrency is the future of money and I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. My company, JIFU, is going all-in on crypto. Not only have we been buying, saving, and accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum for a year, but we have recently made an initial commitment to over $1,000,000 in technology upgrades to be a world leader in cryptocurrency. Yes, I said world leader. Long term, our commitment will be many millions of dollars in upgrades and investments.
We have gone so far as to start selling one of the world’s first cash-backed-utility cryptocurrencies that will allow our customers and affiliates across the world to buy over 200,000 products and over 400,000 travel services by quarter one of 2021. And, we have already sold over 1,000,000 JIFUcoins in a private sale.
If you do not understand cryptocurrency, or you are like me a year ago and think it is a rip-off, it is worth your time to understand it better. With some very credible analysts predicting that Bitcoin is only at 5% of long-term value, you must really do your homework before you write it off.
To follow the Code, smart entrepreneurs must have long-term ways to fund their cash-hungry dreams. Smart investments are key. My next post will begin the exploration of the future of money with crypto including Bitcoin and even our JIFUcoin.
In the meantime, stay strong my fellow fanatical entrepreneurs, and don’t let the shallow words of fear-mongering politicians pollute your dreams.